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It's All Good with Deni Bonet

WANT TO GO?

Deni Bonet at Huntington's ChiliFest

WHERE: Pullman Square, Huntington

WHEN: 2:45 and 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15

TICKETS: Free admission

INFO: Call 304-634-4857 or www.chilifestwv.comCHARLESTON, W.Va. -- It's been a couple of years since electric fiddle player Deni Bonet has been back to Huntington, but not the first time the former "Mountain Stage" band member has been back to West Virginia.

Bonet, who performs Saturday at Huntington's ChiliFest in Pullman Square, was back in the state in August, when she performed at a music festival at the "clothing optional" Avalon Resort in Paw Paw.

"Yes, I did," the former Charleston resident said proudly. "Playing Paw Paw is kind of a coming of age thing."

Bonet said she thought she deserved extra kudos for playing the festival. Unlike other performers, Bonet doesn't just stick to the stage.

"When I play I go wireless and like to go out into the audience."

Bonet said she mixed and mingled and danced with the crowd.

"My band couldn't believe I did that," she added. "But they probably wouldn't believe it if I didn't do it."

For the record, Bonet didn't take her clothes off, but she said she did sign a lot of autographs.

"I carried the pen," she said.

Still, as cool as playing for a crowd of naked people was, she said it didn't top the big show she played in West Virginia last year. Bonet played at concert in Alderson, at the women's prison.

"I kind of pursued that one," she said. "We had a couple of hundred women dancing. I don't know why any of them were there. I don't care, but everybody should have music.

"Being there was just very moving."

Bonet likes to stay busy and this year is no exception. Aside from shows here and the launch of her latest business, overdubstrings.com, a nice sideline recording strings for other musicians around the world, Bonet recently finished up the work on "It's All Good;" a new record that could end up as a small indie kind of release or maybe something larger.

Largely co-written with producer Richard Barone, former front man for 1980s New Wave band the Bongos, the record is chockfull of notable musical names. Guests include folk/pop singer/songwriter John Wesley Harding, Fred Schneider of the B-52s, former Wings drummer Steve Holley and guitarist Peter Buck of the recently disbanded rock group R.E.M.

She laughed and said, "We cashed in all our favors and got some great people on the record. Richard and I know all the guys in R.E.M. real well. They opened for the Bongos back in the early 80s."

 Bonet said Buck offered to play on the record and they were glad to have him.

"So, I have Peter Buck on a track and it sounds like me, with R.E.M. It's just kind of cool."

Schneider's song, "Girl Party," is also a little like being part of a B52's song, Bonet added.

She said "It's All Good" was meant to be a very light-hearted kind of record, something fun to boogie to.

"I just wanted to make a record that was happy," she said. "And I think I pulled it off. This is a pretty happy record."

"It's All Good" is available through Bonet's website and at some shows, but Bonet said the album would have a wider release early next year.

Reach Bill Lynch at lynch@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5195.


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